Every single person who trusts us to capture their memories is a blessing. I don't want to take away from any photo session or client you've had the privilege to work with; however, it's true that some shoots will excite you more than others. Some clients will just feel like a great "fit." Some sessions will light you up and remind you why you love this. And it is fully possible to attract and book clients and sessions like that. When you figure out how to do that - that's the sweet spot in business. It's totally possible! Keep reading for my five tips to help you book dream photography sessions that you'll be stoked to shoot and thrilled to share!
1. Nail down what you want to book.
Have you ever seen a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that has signs on the windows for "burgers, gyros, tacos, wings!" ...Okay, I love variety, but when a restaurant focuses on that many different kinds of foods, it makes you question the quality. If I want a burger, I'd much rather go to a place that specializes in burgers. Seems like they'd have the better burger. (I have to thank Amy and Jordan Demos for that awesome illustration). Get specific about what you want to be doing. Niching down helps attract the right people, and it's a lot easier to do one thing well than to do many things well. And if you're not sure what you want to be shooting just yet? Shoot lots of different things! You'll start figuring out what you enjoy.
2. Write out in detail who your target audience is.
Again, get specific. What do they like? What do they dislike? What are they looking for? What are their pain points? What do they do for fun? What colors do they like? What's their ideal date night? What do they value most in life? What do they value in photography? The more you know, the better you can do the next step.
3. Speak to them with everything you post.
Speak to your target audience. Address their pain points. Maybe they're planning a wedding and are stressed about making a timeline to get good photos. You can help them with that. Maybe they're worried they will be awkward in front of the camera. You can speak to that. Maybe they want to feel confident and secure that every detail will be captured. Speak to their desires. This will establish your credibility and attract them to you.
4. Become good at curating your photos and sharing only what you want to attract and book.
If you want to be booking intimate weddings, stop posting photos of babies (or vice versa). You have to condition your audience. When they see something that resonates with them, they'll be more likely to book. When they can envision themselves in your posts, they'll be more likely to book. Post pictures of what you want to book. Talk about what you want to book. Blog about what you want to book. Let people know.
Personally one way I've done this is in my love for the mountains. But guess what. I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have shot in the western North Carolina mountains and foothills, and those sessions/weddings can just do something good for my soul. Well, I found a place in Raleigh that kiiind of looks like it could be in the mountains. It's one of my favorite locations for photos. So I've posted and shared those photos and rave about them to condition my audience to know what I like, to attract an audience that likes similar things, and to show my audience how beautiful their photos can be out in nature. So what can you do if you don't have much content of things you want to be booking? Read on, friend.
5. Go out and create those things you want to book (even if you’re not getting paid for them at first).
Sometimes shooting for free gets a bad rap. There is nothing wrong with shooting for free especially when you're building a business and brand you'll love and be excited about! If you want to be working with couples, find a couple and ask if they want some free photos. Help style them in a way that speaks to your target audience so you can get plenty of images that will help you with that number 4 tip - curating your photos. Find a white dress on Amazon, find some friends who are willing to dress up a little for photos, and put together a little styled shoot. Use the resources that you have and get creative. See how I did this in the trees at my apartment complex when I wanted to book more weddings/ideal clients.
I hope these tips are helpful as you grow your photo biz and book more of your dream shoots! If you ever have questions for me, I love hearing from you. Send me a DM over on the 'Gram.